The Women's Christian Temperance Union held their fifth annual public meeting in the Oddfellows' Hall last evening. Tea was laid at six o'clock, and the tables were -veil patronised. Immediately afLer the room was cleared the public meeting was held, at which quite 200 people were present. Mr R. Alcorn presided, and on his right and left were Mrs Cawsey, President of the Union, and Mrs Carson, Secretary. The Chairman apologised for the absence of Mrs Sheppard, who was expected to be present. Mrs Cawsey, in the course of a neat speech, referred to the fact that the cause of drunkenness was simply drinking, and pointed out that drunkards were made out of moderate drinkers. To the_ latter she specially addressed herself, urging that it lay with them, by the use of a little self denial in the interests of their fellow men, by becoming total abstainers, to banish the curse of liquor from the land. Mrs Carson, Secretary to the Union, read the following ANNUAL REPORT. We have to report this year an increase in our membership, the number being twenty-seven and four hon. members. Our weekly meetings in the Templar Hall are still continued. We had some very interesting and profitable meetings during the year, notably those addressed by Mr Coad ; Mrs Scott, evangelist ; and Mrs Wright, of Wellington, superintendent of Sabbath observance work ; and others conducted by local ministers and friends. We have been able to give practical assistance to a few needy families. Arrangements have been made during the year to have a home for servants out of work, Mrs Cawsey being appointed referee. The Union Band of Hope, under the efficient superintendence of Miss Fox, shows very good work. There are fifty or sixty children on the roll, several of whom do not belong to any other organisation, and are trained in the principles of temperance and godliness. We gave them a free tea last year, and prepared for sixty children, but about 120 came. The provisions ran rather short, and the ladies had a lively time keeping order. They gave a very interesting entertainment in the Templar Hall about two months ago, most of the children taking part contributing recitations, dialogues, and songs, showing very carefnl training on the part of their instructor. Another branch of our work progresses favorably under the able superintendence of Mrs Scott. They report an increase of members and attendance during the year. They meet weekly. Three evenings in the month are given to sewing for the poor, and one to devotional exercises. The superintendent of social purity work reports favorably. Tracts and good literature are distributed, and lodging-houses and the gaol visited, and also sick visiting to some extent is carried on. We hope greater things for the future. The Chairman, the Revs. Sawle, Buttle, and Boothroyd also addressed the meeting, urging the claims of temperance. The speeches were relieved by a musical programme made up of songs admirably sung by Mrs Brooke, whose "Angels ever bright and fair" was heartily encored and who gave in response "By fair Zurich's Water"; by Miss Steele who also met with an enthusiastic encore ; by Mr Flower, who sang unaccompanied the not by any means light music of " The Slave Ship " ; and by MiLane, who gave "Plymouth Sound." The " Larboard Watch " duet was neatly given by Messrs Gamble and Flower, and Mr and Miss Orr gave pianoforte duets. The meeting closed with the doxology.
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W.C.T.U., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2503, 28 August 1890
W.C.T.U. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2503, 28 August 1890
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